NEW DELHI: Foot-tapping music and soulful classical renditions rent the air as Republic Day celebrations culminated with the Beating Retreat ceremony here where President Pranab Mukherjee rode the ceremonial buggy down the Raisina Hill today for the last time during his tenure.
The ceremonial event at the Vijay Chowk this year saw 16 military bands, 16 pipes and drums bands from regimental centres and battalions enthralling the crowd, with clear sky and relatively warmer weather adding to the august atmosphere.
Several performances by Army, Air Force and Naval bands, among other troupes, thrilled the audience with patriotic fervour, which cheered loudly in the backdrop of a delightful twilight.
The function began with President Mukherjee arriving at the venue in the ceremonial buggy, last time as the Head of State with his tenure ending this year.
He drew cheers from the audience as the wheels of the open gold-plated carriage rolled down the Raisina Hill, making its way past hundreds of spectators who gathered to witness the colourful event.
Mukherjee, the chief guest of the function and the Supreme Commander of the armed forces, reciprocated the greetings with his customary wave at the audience.
Vice President Hamid Ansari accompanied by his wife Salma, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Gen (retd) V K Singh and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan were present on the occasion. (AGENCIES)